There’s nothing worse than having to take your shoes off and exposing rough cracked heels, corns, bunions, and blisters. Our feet carry us many miles on a daily basis and they deserve special treatment after a long day. The following are a few basic tips to get your feet ready for year-round exposure and not just for spring or summer sandals.
1) Blisters, corns, and bunions, Oh My! Those pointy toe shoes are cute and in style but your feet suffer greatly. A lot of foot ailments are due to neglect and abuse. According to the APMA, all three-foot ailments can be helped or prevented by wearing the proper footwear, which is what my grandmother would tell me over and over again…needless to say, I didn’t listen. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) suggests using over-the-counter creams (avoiding acid preparations) and exfoliating products on corns. A blister shouldn’t be broken, but if broken wash with soap and water; apply an antiseptic ointment and cover to prevent infection. Bunions can be helped by wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and consulting your podiatrist. If you suffer from diabetes consult your medical doctor or podiatrist to determine the best way to care for your feet.
2) Make sure your feet stay clean by washing and drying between your toes and making sure you dry them well to prevent bacteria and fungi from forming, which thrive in moist areas. Always give your shoes time to air out and dry between wearings and using a little foot powder can help to keep your feet dry.
3) If you have athlete’s foot or any other fungal conditions, Dr. Scholls Foot Center suggests that you DO NOT REUSE your towel during treatment as bacteria can lay dormant for up to 4 weeks. Athlete’s foots can be contracted in swimming pool areas, gyms, and anywhere a person barefoot will come in contact with such as a dressing room.
4) If you give yourself a home pedicure, try soaking your feet for about 10 minutes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt or sea salt to 2 gallons of water in a foot tub. A great method for softening skin, eliminating odor, and soothing tired sore feet. You can also soak your whole body in Epsom salt and take care of your feet at the same time.
5) Use exfoliating products to prevent or remove hard skin from your feet. There are various types of foot exfoliating treatments, pumice stones, and files on the market to choose from. while you’re in the bathtub scrub your feet and heels with your favorite body scrub to keep them soft and smooth.
6) Take your own personal pedicure tools as some lower-scale salons use the same tools on everyone. For your in-home pedicure, make sure you wash your tools with an antibacterial soap to get rid of any bacteria that may form before using them again.
7) Sometimes polish will crack or peel before the next pedicure and you can remedy that by using your own polish so you can touch up a toe or two in-between visits. I started using my own polish because the polish rubs off my baby toe when I wear closed-in shoes and touching up one toe is easier than taking the polish off and repainting all ten when changing into open shoes.
8) If you have very dry skin use an ultra-moisturizing lotion or cream on your feet. Apply after a bath or shower and then place socks on your feet, which will make them extra smooth and moisturized in the morning and ready for those open-toe sandals.
9) When wearing open sandals, flip-flops, or going barefoot at the beach, use sunscreen on the top of your feet. Don’t forget to reapply after coming out of the water.
10) Treat your feet to a massage, in-home, or at a professional salon. Our feet carry us many miles on a daily basis and deserve special treatment.
Remember your feet can look great year-round with a little care and proper footwear. Your feet are the key to your mobility and taking care of your feet today will prevent future problems.